And that, my friends, is why it's never safe to doubt the man that built the entire foundation for a organization that has won back-to-back Stanley Cups before coming to New Jersey and working laughably lopsided trades in back-to-back offseasons.
I'll admit, letting a cheap, reliable option like Beau Bennett hit the open market when the Devils have a lack of capable right wing talent that rivals the current Presidential administration was a bit disconcerting. Opting out of going all-in on the Kevin Shattenkirk sweepstakes was probably the smart move in the long term. That said, it left me feeling so queasy about the abomination that is currently their blue line that signing Brian Boyle - a solid 4th line center that can contribute in multiple facets of the game - couldn't even settle my stomach.
Then, like a thief in the night, an NHL GM with a proven track record of success reminded us that we are just a bunch of assholes spouting off baseless opinions that only pass the eye test of the visually impaired. The snake is at it's most dangerous when it's prey is vulnerable. Ray Shero lunged from the tall grass to sink his frugal fangs into the ass of the Washington Capitals before the reverberations of impatient Devils' fans that were undoubtedly stomping their feet had completely subsided.
A top 6 winger like Marcus Johansson for a second round pick that resulted from the stashing of dead money and a third round pick that resulted from the departure of the man who I'll love always and forever, but a man whose stubbornness made a full rebuild necessary in the first place? That deal in an of itself might not be a heist - per se - but the collective transactions of Ray Shero since his arrival can certainly be viewed as such.
Obviously these moves will have to start returning players that can keep pucks out of the net before we start talking about the person behind them like he's orchestrated 'Ocean's Eleven' on behalf of a team that somehow sucked their way into having the first overall pick. However, if there's anything we have learned over the last few summers it's that they shouldn't be judged until they've reached their conclusion. The New Jersey Devils suddenly have something that would have been considered a pipe dream less than three years ago, and that is the makings of what one could possibly confuse as forward depth (if they drank way too much over the holiday weekend). Maybe that gets flipped for some defensive help, or maybe they hold serve and dedicate August to helping Cory Schneider find the cape we was wearing in 2015-2016. Whatever the case may be, the person making those decisions still has my trust after flashing his mojo with the "no fucking way, really?" acquisition of MoJo.
Over the years I have learned that people that enjoy hockey more than they understand hockey are most likely to rear their ugly heads and open their verbal vomit-filled mouthes when goaltending is being discussed. Something about the inability to comprehend that the last line of defense isn't always at fault really brings out the worst in the unknowledgeable.
That's why I wasn't too surprised to learn that some Devils' fans were disappointed to see a reliable, steadily improving backup goaltender get signed to a relatively cheap, two-year contract that pays him accordingly for his largely successful spot duty. After all, how could I be? They are probably the same damn people that thought Cory Schneider's admittedly subpar season was the reason that a defenseless team had a harder time getting the rubber out of their end than a girl that got a little too aggressive while having protected sex with the world's largest cucumber.
I guess what I am trying to say - in extremely crude fashion - is that Keith Kinkaid should be universally welcomed back with open arms. That's not to say he's a capable second starter, but he's not being paid - or asked, for that matter - to fill that role. This team goes as far as Cory Schneider takes it, but being able to trust the guy that was - at times - the best goalie on the roster last year is quite the luxury to have.
Sure, I have a soft spot for Keith Kinkaid because he's a lovable sweetheart with pinchable cheeks who I half expect to work "awwww, shucks" into every postgame interview he gives. More importantly, however, he's a guy that's ready to go when called upon and doesn't complain if that proverbial phone doesn't ring for awhile. When your roster rides on the back of one of the five best netminders on the planet, that's exactly the type of affordable insurance policy you need.
Forty five years old. Forty five goddamn years old, and still able to facetiously fret that his final playing days are behind him. There are people that he easily could have fathered that actually are sweating profusely while anxiously tapping their fingers near the phone, and his old ass is probably doing laps in a weighted wetsuit while knowing his immediate future isn't even close to in question. Most men his age are fondly reminiscing (i.e. exaggerating) their glory years, and Jaromir Jagr basically gets to decide when he wants his to end.
Seriously, I don't know when he is going to hang them up for good, but I'm pretty sure that it will be on his own volition seeing as he'll die before reaching an age where he can be easily stripped of the puck. The league is literally trying to put down his career with a style that is more-than-less predicated on speed, and the old dog is still using his asinine work ethic and veteran savvy to be productive despite having no new tricks. He may not have anymore 60 point seasons in him, but he's still got enough je ne sais quoi (fancy term for an ass that could pressurize the contents of a shitty kid's Christmas stocking into an engagement ring) to bait a team into getting him on the line and paying him to fish around the offensive zone with his dynamite dumper. There's no shortage of talented kids that weren't even born when he entered the NHL that can't say the same.
The Devils Have Bought Out Mike Cammalleri And Devante Smith-Pelly Giving Them The Most Cap Space In The NHL
My instinctual reaction to this news was probably the same as that of every single fan that watched either of them play (when could actually get on the ice) last season. Simply put, I can't - in good conscience - hide the fact that I fist pumped when I saw that two players who largely underperformed were bought out in an effort to give the Devils' more financial freedom than they know what to do with (and I mean that last part literally). It's been made very clear that this team is being built on youth, speed, and promise, and - unfortunately - neither Michael Cammalleri or Devante Smith-Pelly possess anything more than a shred of those qualities.
Now, that doesn't mean I don't feel bad for them.
Michael Cammalleri was a pretty accomplished player when he voluntarily decided to board a sinking ship, and he continued to be just that through the first few Titanic-esque years of a contract that was all-but-bound to become an anchor. His struggles through injuries - while trying to crawl out of a scoring slump that seemed to defy the odds of puck luck - were cringeworthy, but it shouldn't be forgotten that it wasn't too long ago when he was one of the few people worth watching. Hopefully he latches on somewhere and contributes, because - despite not currently being right for this team - I can't imagine his tank is as empty as it appeared to be last season.
Devante Smith-Pelly might not have all that many great memories in a Devils' jersey, but who can forget his two to three week stretch of the most meaninglessly productive hockey in NHL history? If nothing else, the dude worked his ass off and made Devils' fans temporarily forget that their favorite team wasted a first round pick on Stefan Matteau, and the importance of the can't possibly be overstated.
Anyway, now that we have gotten the oh-so-tearful goodbyes out of the way, is anyone ready for free agency?! I don't know what Ray Shero has up his sleeve, but securing the league's biggest wad in in his back pocket leads me to believe that it's more than just an itch to get rid of all Lou Lamoriello's wrongdoings. I've done enough discussing of the potentially prodigal son of a bitch that's wading in neutral waters trying to choose which continent he wants to play on, but - even besides that inevitable disappointment - the Devils look to have a busy next few weeks on their hands.
As polarizing as the idea of giving a laughably large contract to a defensemen who is a defensive liability is, I can no longer see a world where the Devils don't back up the 'Brinks' truck up to Kevin Shattenkirk's doorstep. I don't expect people to love the decision to give a long term deal to a guy that doesn't perfectly fit a window that's not even cracked yet, but you'd have to be one sadistic psychopath not to like it more than watching Dalton Prout or Ben Lovejoy play meaningful minutes. If the expansion draft proved anything it's that you better be ready to give up both organizational kidneys if you want to enter the trade market for a top-4 blue liner, and Kevin Shattenkirk - on his worst day - is a second pairing guy that can breath life into a deadbeat defense. If there's a team that can afford to throw caution (in the form of wasted years and committed money) to the wind then it's the one that is a LTIR visit away from having 32 million dollars at their disposal.
The rebuilding process inherently isn't a quick fix, but it damn well better come faster than the end of Taylor Hall's contract or the construction team could easily become even more overwhelmed by the workload. That's why the addition of Kevin Shattenkirk makes sense. That's why I wouldn't be surprised to be the name Alex Galchenyuk pop back up in trade talks. That's why there's not too much that I would consider out of the realm of July's possibilities.
I don't expect Ray Shero to be overanxious, but I think his days of being extremely patient may be of the past. New Jersey isn't going to contend for anything other than the draft lottery next year, but - after trimming this roster's fat - I have a hard time believing they aren't going to try to bulk it back up for the near future.
Whew, what a relief. I thought my fear of missing out was going to have me pissing away money on a lopsided "fight" that's so shamelessly predetermined that Vince McMahon might as well have promoted it. After seeing the two combatants - whose motives definitely aren't strictly monetary - engage in their own personal forms of preparation, I can't believe I was such a worry wart! I may have originally thought this was one ill-prepared athlete trying his half-speed hands at a foreign sport against one of the most dominant to ever play said sport, but it's starting to look to me like sparring style - and not an asinine difference in skill - is the only thing separating these two.
Sure, Conor McGregor's punches look like they are literally moving in the slowest motion provided by even the most high priced of DVR in comparison to those of his opponent, but clearly Floyd Mayweather's weighted gloves are aiding in that perception. Plus, having the sporadic, awkward footwork of a person that can't choose a side when walking head-on into stranger in public is the perfect way to counter balance deliberate upper body movements that could be seen coming more easily than the money shot in a POV blowjob porn. You say Conor McGregor is tipping his hand worse than a professional poker player wearing mirrored glasses? I say the gratuitous effort he exudes with literally every blow is enough to paralyze a competitor that's so, so historically prone to being hit. I mean, just look at how little that heavy bag moved once stung with the grunt fueled strikes of a guy who was obviously born to box if not for that pesky MMA career.
Let's be real, the only thing that superhuman speed kills is the gas milage on a guy that totally looked every single second of 40 years old while avoiding a quickly rebounding punching bag that he obviously memorized the movements of over the years. Technically speaking, that routine was probably fundamentally flawless, but when has decade after decade of practice ever made perfect once the bell rings? I suppose it's possible that Floyd Mayweather could still win, but - if you ask me - it would be solely because Conor McGregor can only throw a finite number of long winded haymakers per two minute span, and not because he's laughably more talented in a craft where he remains undefeated.
I Only Have One Take Away From This Video Of Jeff Fisher Announcing His Firing To The Rest Of His Coaching Staff...
Would you look at that? All that Jeff Fisher needed to start handing coaching responsibilities in a commendable way was to be relieved of his coaching responsibilities. Oh, the irony.
But seriously, for a guy that ultimately got canned for appearing to have entered the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, that was a pretty sincere, well put together farewell. Like, if he had put that much honest thought into his roster building, play-calling, and press conferences then that depressing clip may have never had to come to fruition. The Jeff Fisher that just thanked his staff profusely before promising them that he would stop at nothing to extend their careers in the NFL can run my football team any day. Unfortunately, every other day he was the guy reciting his upcoming opponent's depth chart from five years prior, and - though he somehow received an extension after that snafu - that's not the mark of a man that has his wits about him.
All that aside, can we just take a second to appreciate a particular reaction from the audience? I find it a bit....let's say...coincidental that the only person that was literally and figuratively taken aback by an announcement that was - at the very least - a year in the making was the guy who benefited from it. I'm not going to make any accusations, but if John Fassel didn't drum up the dramatics in order to make it look like he totallllly didn't know he was taking over then he is so stunningly illiterate when it comes to the writing on the wall that he actively tries to get as far away from it as possible once the words become his reality.
Jimmy Butler Just Made It Easier For The Haters To Say "Hi" By Giving Out One Of His Cell Phone Numbers
This is a genius play by Jimmy Butler, and by that I don't mean it's a good idea for a professional athlete - whose recent relocation has surely caused a lot of (undeserved) spite - to give out his primary means of communication publicly. That would have been extremely, extremely dumb...if that number didn't unquestionably belong to a phone that he technically owns but doesn't answer.
You see, the newest member of the Minnesota Timberwolves just ingratiated himself to fans and media alike by making it seem like he's always open for business by unlocking the door to jokes that will ultimately grow stale before the "Grand Opening" even comes to an end. Now he's solidified himself as the personable, easy going star in town, and all he has to do is wait a week before changing the number to his bat phone.
Go ahead haters. If you got beef with Jimmy Butler then get grilling. Surely you're not just firing away at a piece of technology that's sitting on silent in the back of his closet.
Ilya Kovalchuk Is Reportedly Considering A Return To The KHL...Or Just Posturing For A Higher NHL Price Tag
How was my morning, you ask? Oh, nothing out of ordinary. Woke up. Stretched out a bit. Tucked my wood into my waistband. Looked outside. Up was up. Down was down. The sky was blue. The grass was green. Gave the old teeth a brush. Gave the old dick a shake. Gave the omelette a flip. Sat down to sip my morning coffee. Logged into Twitter. Saw that the most indecisive professional athlete on the planet was reconsidering all his options...and kept scrolling to see if literally anything in the sheltered world of social media had changed.
Seriously, if you felt any type of emotion when you read that Ilya Kovalchuk was using the leverage at his disposal to pit the NHL and KHL against each other to drive up whatever price he ultimately gets paid on whatever continent he ends up playing then I am truly envious of your ability to let the past be the past. You suckers that thought Kovy's return to North American ice was imminent are probably the same idiots that think this news break makes his Russian homecoming a foregone conclusion. I tend to applaud people that willfully have blind faith in those that have proven they don't deserve it, but the second you make an assumption about the intentions of a player who is as fickle as a bipolar pregnant woman is the second you agree to make yourself look stupid.
The truth of the matter is that I have about as good of an idea where Ilya Kovalchuk laces up the skates next season as he does. I would imagine the mercenary that fought tooth and nail for a salary cap circumventing 100 million dollar contract of which he fulfilled about 6 cents on the dollar will make that decision dependent upon which pretty, round number best strokes his ego to completion. That's why New Jersey's fleeting ownership over his rights should have never been treated as more of an asset than that one curly fry that might accidentally get tossed in with your regular fries. Maybe the Russian defect finally does the Devils a goddamn favor and nets them some of the NHL caliber talent he cost them, or maybe he goes back to the motherland, plays out the season, and opens up a wealth of options that he'll undoubtedly take far too long to choose between next summer. Whatever the case may be, I'm not even remotely shocked that it's not closed two days before he's eligible to be traded. In the words of the last man to get duped by his doubt, Ilya Kovalchuk's incessant uncertainty remains...."status quo".
Lou Williams Blasted Sports Writers After Being Moved In The CP3 Trade, And He Was Totally Justified In Doing So
Here's the thing, I don't think there were all that many analysts unnecessarily blasting the abilities of Lou Williams when they found out he was a part of the deal that brought Chris Paul to Houston. In fact, I think what has the 'Sixth Man Of The Year' candidate the most upset isn't some uptick in criticism that people randomly threw into their "OMFG, CP3 AND HARDEN!" articles, but rather a complete lack of a mention of the instant offense he'll provide the Clippers. Now, of course, Lou Williams is - at the very, very most - a footnote in a story about the Rockets acquiring a future 'Hall Of Fame' point guard in their effort to dethrone the Warriors. That said, I think we can all relate with not wanting to feel as though we are merely a portion of what's accurately being considered a small price to pay.
That's why Lou Williams should act as if there is not a single journalist that has ever picked up a basketball. He has every right to make generalizations about media members by all-but-assuming their health is at immediate risk when the elevator to their second floor office is out of order. It's definitely not true, but it's not nearly as false as implying that a proud professional athlete that just averaged 17.5 PPG in the best season of his career is nothing more than a spare part. The nature of the beast is that we (in this case, unintentionally) treat unbelievably talented players like they are scrubs comparable to the transcendent, generational company they keep. If a well above average bench player in the NBA has to deal with getting glossed over in trade talks then the people talking about those trades should consider it an occupational hazard when they (myself included) all get lumped together as one big, definition-less mass of fat that's held together by suspenders and saturated with no tangible skill other than concocting baseless opinions.
Relative to CP3, Lou Williams is a no-name. Relative to Lou Williams, every sports writer on the planet Earth is an talentless, out-of-shape dork. Fair is fair.
Dammit. Goddammit. Kevin Durant didn't just laugh in each and every one of our faces. He laughed in the faces of the 29 other teams in the league that have turned the NBA offseason into pure chaos in a desperate effort to catch up to Golden State. The worst part? Everyone has to sit back and take it because he was absolutely right in doing so.
An unstoppable (regular season) offense just added a point guard so good that he's considered the almighty of assist men in exchange for nothing more than some spare parts, annnnd it barely got the Warriors to lift their proverbial head from their proverbial pillow. Of course KD is sleeping on the idea of getting run out of the building by a team that loves the three ball and has - quite possibly - the two best facilitators in the sport. You would too if your lineup was the literal personification of "anything you can do, I can do better". Kevin Durant probably looks at every transaction that has taken place since he lifted that all-too-elusive Larry O'Brien Trophy as if it were part of a comedy routine. He's just sitting back as a spectator as the hysterics unfolding around him are all at his leisure. As insufferably cocky as it is scoff at the idea of defending two players as great as Chris Paul and James Harden, it's a level of conceit that's well deserved.
If Daryl Morey miraculously manages to finagle Paul George out Indiana then maybe...maybe...Kevin Durant won't be in absolute stitches at the mere thought of having legitimate competition. Until then, to the victors go the spoils, and there's nothing more spoiled than going out of your way to openly mock everyone that's less fortunate than you.
Well, would you look at that? An MLB umpire doing the exact opposite of walking off in securing the all-too-elusive victory that is a triumph of the human spirit. Little more impressive than any win that can be racked up on the baseball diamond if you ask me.
Sadly, not everyone would have meddled in a stranger's business - even if it was suicidal - but I'm glad that John Tumpane realized that a woman scaling the side of a bridge in broad daylight probably didn't want to die as badly as her actions hinted she did. Not to be too grim, but if taking your own life is truly something you want done successful then you don't do it during the lunchtime rush. What John Tumpane witnessed was a cry for help, and the fact that he didn't hesitate to answer that cry is nothing short of heroic.
Granted, he probably came down pretty hard from that high of heroism after the first time a drunken slob with mustard on his shirt told him to get off his knees and stop blowing the game because - shockingly - beer goggles can alter the perception of the strike zone. Having to deal with infantile managers coming stunningly close to spitting in his face probably had him questioning whether each and every life is worth saving. However, when it mattered most he sprung into action and protected a random woman from herself, and that type of selfless appreciation for others is something we can - and should - all aspire to.
A Heroic Middle School Teacher In Utah Had Her Students Write Gordon Hayward Letters Begging Him To Stay
Hey Jazz Nation, can we get a round of applause for Mrs. Kristine Jakins? I don't know if her decision to reach out Gordon Hayward with a couple dozen guilt trips from kids that are just barely young enough to still be able to tug on the heart strings with crappy handwriting and silly grammar mistakes will be able to keep him in Utah, but I'll be damned if I can think of a more convincing attempt.
I suppose it's possible that this broad can't teach her way out of a paper bag, but if you aren't going to prioritize educating the youth of America then you might as well exploit their innocence for the long term benefit of a city and its sports teams. A lesser basketball fan might have been assigning poetry anthologies or some other such shit that was apparently so, sooo goddamn pointless that I can't even think of a second thing that was asked of me in middle school 'Language Arts', but not Mrs. Jakins. She pushed aside her lesson plans in favor her sports-driven agenda, and I think I speak on behalf of the entire Jazz faithful when I say that her choice to focus on NBA free agency instead of the furthering the English skills of 14 year olds was nothing short of commendable. Love, admiration, and loyalty may go a long way in the process of persuasion, but nothing plays to a guilty conscience quite like the begging and pleading of children.
Tennessean- According to a preliminary investigation, 19-year-old sophomore wide receiver Donaven Tennyson had offered his iPhone 6S for sale on the internet and met with a prospective buyer in the parking lot of a Chili’s restaurant on West End Avenue at 5 p.m. Monday.
Tennyson told police his phone was stolen during the meeting when the thief drove off with it.
Later in the evening, about 8:40, Tennyson noticed his phone had been offered for sale on the same internet site. So he created a fake account on the site, requested to purchase the phone, and arranged to meet with the seller in the Target parking lot.
Tennyson then went to the parking lot with friends and fellow teammates O’montae (Tae) Daley and Frank Coppet, both 18, in Daley’s red Toyota Corolla.
The trio brought a pellet gun with them, as one put it, “to help get the phone back.”
The group pulled up next to the seller’s gray Buick sedan and Coppet got out with the pellet gun in his hand.
A man in the Buick then got out and shot at them with an actual handgun, while another man in the Buick fired a shotgun.
Daley was hit in leg. Coppet suffered birdshot wounds to his arms.
Talk about a story that is just chalked full of life lessons. I feel like those "be careful who you meet off the internet!" lectures that parents used to give in one ear and out the other of their children as they logged onto AOL are 2000-and-late considering everyone with a smart phone is trying to sleep with a stranger they swiped from it. Still, seeing that a trio of college kids got shot (non-fatally, thankfully) in a Target parking lot after trying to steal back the phone that they had stolen from them should be enough to hold a review of the fundamental principles of online safety in the dormitory.
Tough for me to criticize the thought process of these student athletes because there is no shortage of precarious, potentially deadly situations I put myself in while I drunkenly attained my "higher" education, but let's just put this out there for anyone that might think otherwise...
The type of person setting up robberies in insanely public places like the parking lots of chain restaurants and discount department stores more than likely has very little to lose. He didn't arrange an in-person (free) "purchase" of a cell phone off a website then post that very same cell phone on that same website less than 4 hours later because he's a forgetful crook. He did so because he's an arrogant crook whose recklessness should have made it quite clear that he's not the type to be fucked with.
Again, I'm not assigning blame here because each and every 18-19 year old has done the darndest (Also See: Dumbest) of things in spite of their own health, but it's probably safer to assume that a thief that allows himself to be that easily tracked down is bringing a little more than a knife to a pellet gun fight. Regardless, I'm glad these kids are okay, and I hope someone gives them a tutorial on eBay.
Chris Paul Is Being Traded To The Rockets, And The Worst Case Scenario Is That We Get To Enjoy Some Fireworks
Show me two people with personalities and general dispositions that differ as much as those of Chris Paul and James Harden, and I'll show you a couple that got married too young under the ruse that "opposites attract" before splitting ways in a messy, knock down-drag 'em out divorce in which clothes were flung into the street prior to the cops being called to intervene.
I don't want to say that the Houston Rockets made the wrong decision by trading for one of smartest, most versatile point guards in league history, because success in the association has never been more dependent on the stockpiling of talent. However, in adding a second ball dominant player whose will to win is often exuded through loud, on-court critiques of his teammates, they definitely made a locker room that was previously led by the most apathetic superstar in the NBA more flammable. I don't know what type of basketball the Rockets are looking to play, but if two facilitators fight over the rock that inevitably gets stuck in a hard place then their offense might even be more explosive than if it actually runs smoothly. Not only is this an odd couple that makes Dwight Howard and James Harden look like they have chemistry, but it's an odd couple that consists of two players whose only similarities are their favorite positions and playoff failures.
Maybe Chris Paul learns what constructive criticism is before the season starts. Maybe James Harden learns how to take it without sulking into his overgrown beard. Maybe Houston just gave themselves a better chance of competing with Golden State by creating a roster of floppers that will stop at no act of embellishment to foul out their competition while getting to the line on each and every possession. "Maybe" being the operative word, because this duo might not be a ticking time bomb, but they sure are a volatile concoction that is a few circumstantial ingredients away from a "solution" reaching it's boiling point.
Either way it works to the benefit of the casual fan. If they aren't going to be a great team capable of contending for a championship then they might as well be an entertaining team, and there is nothing more entertaining than the idea of rekindling the level of resentment and spite that Kobe and Shaq for one another with two guys who are far less likely to win their way through it.
Credit to Daryl Morey for throwing caution to the wind in the thankless pursuit of a title, but here's to hoping that wind knocks over a canister of gasoline onto the combative fire that will unquestionably be brewing between Chris Paul and James Harden.
Nothing Is Normal About The New York Knicks, But The Timing Of Phil Jackson's Firing Seems Extremely Abnormal
I know that trying to figure out what's going on in the mind of the New York Knicks' "braintrust" is as hopeless of an endeavor as trying to figure out what evils lie beneath Isiah Thomas' sheepish smile, but doesn't the timing on this move seem odd?
There's no doubt that Phil Jackson needed to get canned, but we are no more than a week removed from him orchestrating a draft around a long defunct shape while simultaneously trying to rid himself of a player who has the potential to be so transcendent that his skill set can only be compared to the rarity of seeing a fictional, horned horse. James Dolan didn't seem to have a problem leaving a senile old man to his own antiquated devices when that senile old man was napping through organizational auditions. In fact, he was so trusting of the decaying wits of the person left in charge of the future of his franchise that he was on stage playing wind instruments looking like he pillaged Jimi Hendrix's closet when that person was making crucial, irreversible decisions...
Only now, just six days after the potential crisis that he willingly ignored magically managed to be averted, did he come to the conclusion that the shell of a human being blindly steering his ship through impending disaster needed to be replaced?
I don't know about you, but I am not buying it.
I only joked that the NBA should step in with a metaphorical tranquilizer dart and put one of the most accomplished head coaches of all time to sleep before he used his executive order to slowly execute a proud franchise, but I'm honestly not so sure that didn't just happen.
Consider this, how likely is it that James Dolan had a revelation that he suddenly cares about the sports team he inherited immediately after it's beating, Latvian heart nearly got ripped right out of it's chest and sold at a discount on the black market? Is it as likely as Adam Silver refusing to let a franchise with a huge following in a massive market commit social suicide by sabotaging itself?
The answer is rhetorical but you know exactly what it is, because you don't stand idly by complaint while someone repeatedly tries to burn your belongings and then only decide to take action after the 8th or 9th flicker of the lighter. I may not be one for conspiracy theories, but when the impetus for them is the continued negligence and incompetence of the New Yorks Knicks' ownership then I'll lightly season my palate with that grain of salt.
It Appears The Blue Jackets Are Interested In Being The Team That Takes Ilya Kovalchuk Off The Devils' Hands
"You have yourself a deal..."
...is what I would say if almost any trade that netted an NHL caliber upgrade was slid across my desk in an effort to get the most high maintenance of mercenaries shipped out of town.
Now luckily I'm not Ray Shero, or my PTSD would have me biting the bullet to give almost any team - other than the Rangers - directorial order over a walking, talking soap opera. You shouldn't give away assets - especially those that are hypothetically capable of scoring 25-30 goals in a season - so a certain amount of hardball is necessary. However, if this drags on into August I'd rather pay off Putin to get Ilya Kovalchuk executed than haggle over which young, underachieving talent he is worth in what has become a barren, costly black market for Top-4 defensemen.
Simply put, I want what's best for the New Jersey Devils and it's getting to the point where I think what's truly best for the New Jersey Devils is to focus on the future while relieving themselves of the most polarizing person from their past. We are talking about a guy whose name has already come up dozens of times this summer and he's not even back on North American soil yet. Obviously I hope that the Devils are able to retroactively recoup some of what they inevitably gave up by taking a homesick, money hungry toddler at his word (i.e. signature), but I think doing so in a timely fashion is just as important to a franchise as whatever (under)payment they receive in return. Idle hands might be the Devils' playground, but this offseason will immediately become more fun the instant those hands are free of the shackles of an aging, Russian malcontent's incessant indecisiveness. I'm not even going to look at Columbus' pipeline on the blue line out of fear of baseless optimism, and I hope Ray Shero gets something done shortly so I don't have to.
P.S. Already laughing at the prospect of Ilya Kovalchuk and Artemi Panarin being under the watchful eye of John Tortorella. Mostly because it's the NHL equivalent of feeding filet mignons to a stray dog.
(h/t KD's weirdo YouTube timeline)
Kevin Durant has been on the ass end of enough criticism this year, so nitpicking which form of social media he used to congratulate his longtime former teammate on the historical achievement that he made possible by summoning an unforeseen level of spite seems like a bit of a reach.
Still, a YouTube channel? A video platform in which the comments are generally a quickly regressing race to the bottom of society's barrel? You know how the old saying goes, "if you don't have something nice to say then don't say anything at all"? Well, in 2017, I think it should be altered to include online platform. Perhaps, "if you don't have somewhere nice to say something then don't say anything at all"?
I know that Kevin Durant probably is contractually obligated and financially incentivized to update his two month old YouTube channel, but something doesn't doesn't feel right about an acknowledgement of an MVP season being immediately followed by commentary from hundreds of people that think there's racial significance to the 'N' in 'NBA' (if you catch my drift). I don't want to be overly critical of what was unnecessary praise. However, Russell Westbrook didn't angrily average a triple-double just to be the subject of a closing sentence at the end of a run-on paragraph on a website that serves as a petri dish for racism, sexism, and every other kind of -ism that people feel comfortable posting anonymously online. Especially one that comparatively makes Twitter look like the breeding ground of hopes, dreams, and positivity.
The Texas Rangers Announcer Accidentally Tweeted The Wrong Score, And The Internet Reared Its Ugly Head
"Ahhh, the internet. A place to conveniently share information and opinions without having to worry about society's incessant stupidity shining through."
Well, at least that's how I think Al Gore originally pitched it before it got set aflame with hot takes by social justice warriors. I mean, this thread of tweets - that started because of an innocent mistake - is so symbolic of the shitshow that is social media that I almost can't believe it's real. A typo turns into a passive aggressive insult disguised as a "correction"...
That turns into an unnecessary rebuttal that only fans the already contentious flames...
Somehow that gets treated as a sexist remark because obviously it's impossible to be critical of a female's tone without thinking less of her as human being...
The nonsensicalness of that implication gives the person who was wrong in the first place more ammunition to keep poking and prodding...
The all-too-mandatory plea for a disingenuous apology that would just be treated as the empty bullshit that it would be makes an appearance...
The people siding with the person whose paper-thin skin started the argument in the first place debate the kettle over it's blackness...
....and what would an unproductive online spat be without an off-base mention of safe spaces by someone that apparently doesn't understand the concept of a safe space....
The high road gets suggested, as if everyone that's bickering about temporarily seeing the wrong score of a baseball game they are probably watching anyway and interjecting themselves in a debate about it isn't already riding along rock bottom....
The target of this impeccably stupid twitter attack finds some people that agree with him and uses them to support his claim....
Annnnnd we come full circle with the original instigator getting "rewarded" with meaningless support for shamelessly playing the victim...
Honestly, if I ever have to explain to an alien what the internet is then I am showing them this engagement as a warning and refusing to give them the WiFi password, because this is a microcosm of how humans can ruin absolutely anything.
The Real Problem With John McEnroe's Comments On Serena Williams Is That No One Knows A Damn Thing About Tennis
I'm playing a dangerous game by assuming that everyone is on the same page in 2017, but I think it's fair to say that most people understand that men are athletically superior to women in terms of size, strength, and speed. Consider all technical skill, awareness, and mental toughness even, and the fairer gender is taking the 'L' every time in the 'Battle Of The Sexes'. That's just simply how biology works.
That said, I also think it's fair to say that most people think of Serena Williams as a transcendent athlete regardless of her gender. It would be pretty difficult ( i.e. sexist, stupid) not to considering she's so superior to her genetically similar competition that she won the 'Australian Open' with a human fucking being living inside her.
That's why I don't think it's John McEnroe's message that people have a problem with. After all, how could they when it's a message that Serena Williams herself has publicly echoed previously?
There is one thing and one thing only that has people readying their pitchforks for a full fledged takedown of a brutally honest former athlete who was probably a bit hyperbolic - although also pretty complimentary - in promoting his new book, and that is the number 700.
I'll admit, when I first read that John McEnroe would have Serena Williams slated behind hundreds upon hundreds of her male counterparts I was a bit taken a back. That's because - if given approximately an hour to research - the average person (myself included) might be able to rattle off about 17 penis-carrying tennis pros. Hell, if you asked me how many proud, racket carrying males are on "the circuit" then my guess would have been about as accurate as predicting how many gum balls fit in a 757. When it comes to name recognition, the 30th ranked men's tennis player in the world might as well be the 30th ranked shark fisherman in the Florida Keys. For those of us who are unfamiliar with the sport - which is the vast majority of people - men's tennis might as well have as many eligible participants as the NBA playoffs. Maybe I'm just speaking for myself here, but when I initially saw the number 700 I assumed that John McEnroe would take Billy Fuckstick from East Cowtip Community College over the best women's tennis player of all time.
Apparently that's not the case and there are - indeed - a hell of a lot more tennis players than the handful that I could pick out of a police lineup. Pretty shocking stuff really. Just not nearly as stunning as the amount of oblivious people lighting their torches to defend an objectively awesome female athlete against a completely arbitrary number prior to doing the math.
The Ball Family Made An Appearance On WWE Raw, Annnd LaMelo Dropped A Couple Soft N-Bombs Into A Hot Mic
As per Houston Mitchell of The Los Angeles Times, WWE also sent out a statement about it:
WWE responded to what happened with the following: “The inappropriate language used by a guest during the ‘Miz TV’ segment was not scripted nor reflects WWE’s values.”
First of all...yikes, and no - that is not even in reference to a 15 year old causally dropping 'N'-bombs on live television. That "yikes" is in reference to the painstaking viewing that was a satellite parent turned caricature bickering back-and-forth with a professional rabble rouser. I knew the WWE product had gone downhill in recent years, but - man, oh man - I feel like I need to apologize on behalf of 13 year old me for contributing to the ratings of a sideshow that allowed it to transform into a cringeworthy adaptation of itself. I actually don't mind LaVar Ball's antics, but he's much better at yelling nonsensical shit at an egregious volume from the sidelines than he is at trying to entertain when the spotlight is on him. Surely he doesn't care because - regardless of the fact that it made me want to stab my eardrums with a screwdriver - he got to do a lot of shameless self promotion for the 'Big Baller Brand', but that was simply an unwatchable subplot if we are speaking objectively.
But hey, I imagine that's probably just what a franchise as proud as the Lakers were hoping for when they heard their first round pick was going on a show that makes soap operas seem real. What better way for Lonzo Ball to ingratiate himself to the fine people of Los Angeles than by making a public appearance in front of that huuuuuuuge cross section of NBA/WWE fans? Probably could have done without his brother causing a controversy by repeatedly spitting a soft slur into a hot mic on family programming, but who could have seen that coming? I thought the teenager with the most outspoken, overbearing of role models and absolutely no experience in professional entertainment would have played it cool in front of the cameras. Oh well, a public apology is a small price to pay to get the #2 pick in the NBA Draft the publicity that he definitely wouldn't be privy to as the Los Angeles Lakers starting point guard.